GOVERNMENT is inviting local and international firms to supply and produce ethanol for blending with fossil fuels.
Government, through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, has embarked on a programme to implement the blending of bio-fuels with petrol and diesel.
Petrol is to be blended with ethanol at 10 percent in the first phases with a view to migrating progressively to 20 percent in the second phase. Diesel will be blended with biodiesel at five percent.
Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development permanent secretary Charity Mwansa said the deadline for submissions is September 19 and only shortlisted companies will be invited to submit detailed technical and financial proposals.
“The ministry now invites proposals from interested eligible firms to engage in the supply and production of denatured ethyl alcohol in Zambia.
The firm will be selected in accordance with Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) guidelines,” Mrs Mwansa said in Lusaka yesterday.
Firms interested in the programme are expected to supply methylated spirit for national blending in the interim for a period of two years and set up a processing plant for ethanol production in the country in the long run.
They will also supply locally produced denatured ethyl alcohol that meets the required specifications and standards and establish plantations and invest in processing plants by entering into supply and agreements for future supply to Government.
Ms Mwansa said currently the daily demand for diesel is approximately two million litres while that of petrol is approximately 1.2 million litres.
Therefore, the monthly demand for diesel and petrol is estimated at 60 million litres and 36 million litres, respectively.
She said with the volatility of crude oil prices on the international market and increased demand on the local market, the country incurs large oil import bills.
However, with the integration of biofuels into the energy mix, over 62 million litres of petrol and diesel at the minimum blending ratios of 10 percent and five percent, respectively, will be offset translating into significant reduction of oil import bill.
In addition, Government says implementing the national blending programme has a multiplier effect on agriculture as a number of small-scale farmers will be engaged in feedstock production.
Zambia Daily Mail